Browsing the web on Google Chrome for Windows 10 and Windows 11 is now faster than ever thanks to new under the hood improvements.
As mentioned, Google’s solution has been limited to background tabs. The company previously didn’t focus on the background usage of window or windows minimized to the taskbar or moved offscreen. If occluded windows were treated like background tabs, Chrome’s performance would be significantly better.
Based on this hypothesis, Google started working on a project called “Native Window Occlusion” to reduce the background usage of tabs in occluded windows (not actively visible to the user).
Google has been working on this project for more than three years and it addressed compatibility issues with multi-monitor setups, virtual desktops, etc. As part of the optimization project, Google ignored minimized windows (not visible to user), virtual desktop as occluded, etc.
“The occlusion thread tells Windows that it wants to know about various Windows events. The UI thread tells Windows that it wants to know when there are major state changes, e.g., the monitor is powered off, or the user locks the screen,” Google noted in a blog post.
How Google improved performance of Chrome
Google has been testing the feature for a while and it’s now available to everyone on Windows.
As per Google, Chrome is now up to 25.8% faster on startup and it has observed a 3.1% reduction in GPU memory usage. Likewise, Google reported 20.4% fewer renderer frames and rendered crashes reduced by 4.5%.
Chrome now saves resources for more important foreground windows and these changes ultimately contributed to reduced startup and first-contentful paint.
Google observed a 3.0% improvement in first input delay and 6.7% in first contentful paint and largest contentful paint.
New design features for Chrome on Windows
Google is also working on design improvements for Chrome on Windows. On Windows 11, Google has rolled out rounded corners to match Windows 11 aesthetic. And the company is now working on another visual change for Chrome that will apply Windows accent colour to the browser.
Of course, this feature would be optional and users can enable it by navigating to Windows Settings > Personalization > Colors.
You’ll need to click on “show accent colour on following surfaces” for the changes to take effect. Once done, you will notice Windows accent colour in various parts of the UI, including bookmark popup, text selection background, and more.